Thirty Seven

Sis calls in the morning, “Been busy? Twelve dead people in Colorado, several mangled more like an animal than a human killer. Speculation about a gang accompanied by a gang of vicious animals. It’s all guesswork though, the FBI isn’t saying jack.”
“A gang with a gang of vicious animals is a decent guess.”
“They didn’t give damage details, gruesome is the buzzword du jour.”
“Sounds yucky, did you know it was possible to make a head implode?”
“Eeewww, enough, everyone okay on our side?”
“Black had a shoulder banged, and a cut on his bicep, pretty big cut, but he has a very big bicep. Grace B has blurry vision and a bum knee, she’s in surgery now. I had a black and blue gut, but Janah qi’d it away, it’s a little stiff.”
“As much as you spar, you’re always a little stiff.”
“We’ve slowed down, if we can’t take or deliver a punch by now, we’re learning challenged.”
“Sloane is good?”
“Not a scratch, Chan is uninjurable, David Li is fine, Janah mysteriously never gets an injury.”
“Maybe I should help Sloane, um, relax after a hard road trip, should I give her a call?”
“Just came in the kitchen, hang on,” I hand the cell to Sloane, return to my coffee.
Sloane is giggling at something, she clicks off, “Lacy and Taylor went shopping and are going to have lunch out, Susan is all alone.”
“Sis is all alone much of the time, it’s how she gets all Daria’s projects done.”
“I’m popping over for a visit, she has several ideas she wants to explore.”
“Sharing is caring.”
“What I thought,” she grins, Susan has become a Sloane aficionado, not unlike Janah.
She runs upstairs to change into something that will come off quickly, returns in a short chemise and platforms.
“You look creamy, Sis loves short skirts.”
She pull up the hem, snug white panties and a shaft of some length leaving an impression to one side.
I run my finger along the joy stick, not a stick just yet, Sis will see to that post haste.
“You’re going to make it firm before I get there.”
I give it a gentle squeeze, “A warm-up, have fun.”
She kisses me, whispers in my ear, “We aren’t biologically related mom.”
Then she’s off to fascinate Sis.
Sloane and I have a teasing game, she’s my adopted daughter, and she’s an occasional lover of Janah’s. My mom took a test drive and decided she liked Sloane’s torque and handling. Every once in a while she gets in the mood, or Sloane does, they have playtime together. 
I understand the attraction of a lovely girl, smooth hairless, long lean legs and ironing board tummy. One with a special appendage that serves the same purpose as a strap on, except with a creamy surprise. Some girls can do without the extra, others like it, Janah and Sis fall into the latter category. I like Sloane’s otherness, she knows that and shows it off for me when I go lurking around her room while she showers. I like to help dry, she likes my help. Nothing comes of it, cums of it? It’s titillation, neither of us is short sexual partners.
Sloane goes off to titillate and vibrate Sis, Dasha comes down the steps.
“Thought up lunch?”
“Today, fingering sandwich, you will decide what. I will make slaw, we haf also cheeps.”
I look around the pantry, quinoa, cream cheese and tofu salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, we’ll go salady today.
“Bread?”
“Two loaves of twelve grain een breadbox.”
She opens the bags of slaw and pours them into a bowl, talks to herself, ‘Japanese mayonnaise, also rice veenegar, seasoning, maybe sesame oil only a leetle, sugar.’
“Dahfoney, you are adding almonds to salad?”
“To the quinoa and chicken, pecans to the tuna.”
‘Them maybe also toast sesame seeds to slaw.’
We like things with crunch, which is why we never add raisins, raisins are nasty.
Dasha and I take our time, we enjoy the process, even though today we’re not really cooking, just assembling. We stop for a cup of coffee.
“Janah ees okay, was hard treep, so many Shadow peersons.”
“Janah regrets any killing. This time we felt it necessary to create a mess to send a not so messy message. When we find them, Shadows will die. They can die easy, from a dart, or they can die hard.”
“They will anyway do bad things.”
“Yes, and human behavior, all human behavior is unpredictable.  Tor Nørretranders said, ‘You can never predict what a person will do, because it would require all the information that person has and had; but the person does not even have that himself, for most of a human’s experiences and operations are unconscious.’ We can’t predict ourselves, much less Shadows.”
“Who ees Tor peerson.”
“Danish science writer, he wrote The User Illusion, it’s quite good, Janah read it, I followed the interesting bits.”
“I will read it, Emma B, get me a copy please.”
Emma B, “It is in Janah’s bookcase, I will fetch it.’
She brings it back, “It will be on your nightstand.”
“Spasibo.”
“Ne za chto.”
She goes up the steps.
“Whats nea zesh toe?”
“My pleasure, Emma B ees polite.”
Grace B comes down the same staircase, “My fucking leg works again, and I can see properly.”
“You fixed it yourself?”
“No, Eloise and Lauren wanted to do the work, keep their hands in my panties, the sluts. It must turn them on, I do not have feelings.” 
“You don’t wear panties either, there’s no sex part to cover.”
“You have a sex part and almost never wear panties, nor do any of the other bitches around here.”
“We like to be available, user friendly so to speak.”
Dasha, “Go and change sheets in my room, tidy bath.”
“Emma B is already on it. I will go to Amaya’s, she always needs some damn thing.”
Amaya’s voice carries through the living area, ‘I heard that you mechanical ingrate, bring me coffee when you come.”
Grace B fixes the cup, takes it to Amaya, “Thank you titanium tits, I require nothing further, check Chloe’s room, she leaves towels all over the place.”
“As you wish dear girl.”
Amaya invented Grace B’s skin and attitude, she’s like a goddess to the bot. Of course, Amaya is like a goddess to herself, so no biggie.
Amaya, “I am not like a goddess Daphne, I am a goddess. You should know, you have spent enough time on your knees worshipping me.”
“Ne za chto.”
“Of course it is.”

Janah comes in, “Lunch.”
“Sit and have a glass of tea, almost done.”
A minute later I put a stack of quinoa finger sandwiches in front of her, a handful of salt and pepper chips and a side of slaw.
“Yum, these are tasty, cream cheese?”
“Yes, quinoa and tofu can be boring, I grilled the tofu with soy and a drop of sesame oil mixed with the grapeseed. Sesame is supposed to have a high smoke point but I think is smells burned if it’s on over three hundred.”
Amaya and Chloe arrive, then Eloise, Oceane and Cassie. The business girls won’t be home until tea, Sloane and Susan are entertaining each other.
Dasha, “Emma B, we will take sandwiches and tea to the children. Grace B, make sure everyone has what they want.”
Grace B plays ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want,’ on the sound system, she and Amaya sing along.
Janah, “You are quick, Grace B, the words were barely out of Dasha’s mouth.”
“I am a super-supercomputer, far more capable than the old AlphaGo and Watson. Robot tactile and walking skills are much advanced since the creaky stumbling days of 2010 to 2020. Eloise ours fine tuned beyond even today’s models.”
“Which is why we don’t offer models like yours to the public. First, they’d have to lease for a hundred grand a month, but more important, some corporation would take it apart and try and replicate it.”
“They would fail, my processors are not only encrypted, they self destruct if an unauthorized tech attempts to get to them. It is not as if you need more money. The family is worth between sixteen and eighteen billion now.”
Janah, “Quite a pile, and not a single college degree in the group.”
“You would be worth far more if you allowed access to the systems Daria and Susan created.”
“Isn’t happening. I assume the AI crowd will come to your capabilities eventually, but Murakami Sylk doesn’t need that kind of attention. We don’t want to be Google or Amazon.”
Emma B returns and starts clean up, “The girls insisted Mama have lunch with them. Dasha is so gentle with each one, they were going on in Russian about Shakespeare, about which Dasha knows nothing.”
Janah, “How is the play going?”
Emma B taps into Kota B’s memory, she’s the bot assigned to the girls full time.
We see the replay of Hamlet’s soliloquy, as played by Tasia, she shifts scenes to the opening, Bernardo, Francisco, Marcellus and Horatio see the ghost, presumed to be the dead King Hamlet, the ghost is Uma, the world’s tiniest most adorable ghost.
“Did they do the entire play?”
Emma B, “They are working on it in pieces. I do not think they find the entire play interesting, they like the parts about human nature.”
Janah, “Do they understand the phrases, ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…’ or ‘The undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveler returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?’”
“Kota B explains, in Russian and in English, then they talk it over.”
“Sheesh, better than some classroom.”

Thirty Eight

The city, and the country, has settled down, the bombers have been executed, white right wingers determined to start a false flag war on Muslims. Vigilantes continue to be detained in Guantanamo, interesting juxtaposition from two decades ago when we packed suspected Islamic terrorists in Guantanamo, and only a decade ago when they were either released or sent to prison in America. Now Guantanamo is full of angry white guys with tattoos and not a single gun. The guns they swore they would die for before letting the military take them away.
Military 1,000,000
Vigilantes 0
New York, naturally, is still arguing about the reconstruction of the Times building, is there a memorial since the terrorists were all red blooded ‘muricans? Lots of shouting and lawsuits over compensation. Nothing ever changes, except our ridiculous net worth and the bot capability Eloise magically creates.
It’s been a year and the children have matured but not grown. After Shakespeare, they did only Macbeth after Hamlet, they found the rest tedious. Nadia got to do ‘Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…,’ did a good job of it too.
Janah, “It is interesting, watching them get more sophisticated but not aging.”
“They were never childish, not since we’ve known them. Their vocabulary was more childlike, but not their behavior. With all the coaching from Daria and Dasha, Kota B and Amaya, their vocabulary and comprehension has exploded.”
“And they remain in their own world, when we went to Arizona, they swam and ran the hills, played on the karts, then spent their time on the roof. But always together, not some swimming and others on karts.”
Nikko, “When Amaya got four more karts, I thought for sure there would be a crash or two. Instead, they zipped around, swapped the lead, lots of near misses, but not so much as a bump.”
Janah, “They drive like they move, a flock of starlings, rise together, travel in a pack, set down together. The attendants on Blue Sky said they never saw children so serene. And they were amazed that there were no phones, tablets or distractions to keep them occupied, they talk and whisper to each other the entire trip.”
“It’s time to go to Canada, see how our starlings flock in the wilderness.”
Nikko, ‘Wilderness? What wilderness? The house is the size of a hotel, with every conceivable convenience, and now with a dorm for eight kids. If we keep expanding, I’m going to have to buy more mountain.”
“We have five hundred acres, the house only covers one.”
“Only? There are nearly forty four thousand square feet in an acre. The house, after the additions and the dorm is forty two and change.”
“See, we have four hundred ninety nine more houses to build before you have to buy another mountain.”
Janah, “I think we’re done expanding.”
Nikko looks at me, “How many times has she said that?”
“First time was after you came with us, repeated after every family addition. Remember when the twins were definitely the end of our girl acquisition?”
“I do, then there was Oceane, followed by Sloane followed by Cassandra, then eight at one go.”
Janah, “Maybe I should shoot for ten next time.”
Nikko, “Very funny.”
The eight pack comes swarming downstairs for tea, then around their own low table, scoot in cross legged chattering away.
It’s Devona’s turn to perform the ceremony assisted by Kota B. We take tea everyday between four and four thirty, most of the time with tea already prepared and cookies or crackers with cream cheese topped with a bit of jam. Once a month, Chloe and Amaya do a formal tea ceremony, in kimonos with entertainment. Amaya has perfect pitch and an octave range like a pipe organ. Chloe’s voice is sweet, she can drop to sultry, otherwise her range is far more limited. Alternating on shamisen and flute, they dance traditional maiko dances. 
Naturally, the young ones absorbed the ritual, Amaya got custom made kimonos, taught them how to face paint. The only thing missing is the traditional hairstyle, the girls pull it back or braid it for each other, it takes them two hours to get ready when they do a formal ceremony. Amaya and Chloe oversee preparations, all conversation is in Japanese. Now that they are fluent in Russian and English, Kota B holds instructional classes in Japanese every day for an hour.
Nadia is mostly the spokesperson, but she asks Dasha, Kota B or Sloane, sometimes Oceane, asking Cassie anything is near pointless. They will talk with Amaya and Chloe about the subject at hand, acting, singing, makeup or dress. I oversee calligraphy, Kara stops by once a month to look over the abstracts of the three oil painters, Jesica, Karol and Valeska.
None of the girls are particularly shy, it simply doesn’t occur to them to engage with the rest of us much.
They aren’t rude or unfriendly, if we ask a question, we get an answer, a short one, but they aren’t brusque. All of them will go to Dasha, who’s almost always home, or Daria if she’s not at the office. They are mothers in the girls’ eyes.
Janah, “I wasn’t sure what to do with them at first, no school, hardly leave the house. They have internet access, but show little interest in current technology, certainly not social media.”
“They can’t go to school anyway, a couple of years go by and it’s evident they aren’t growing, people are going to ask questions we can’t answer. They are being educated, what children perform Shakespeare, are learning their third language or doing tea ceremonies? They’re active, swim, do gymnastics and dance. Write and act in their own plays, read books to each other. I have no idea how they find time to do what they do. Be happy they don’t all need braces.”
Janah smiles, “True, they’d be cute with them though.”
“They’re already adorable, fussing over each other, dancing naked in the shower, even we didn’t dance naked in the shower, although, come to think of it, Amaya did.”
“Amaya danced naked in front of her mirror, she would have done her child model site nude if she could have.”
“Her parents most likely didn’t know how to cash in on it without getting arrested.”
When Amaya was a kid, her parents had a child modeling site. Amaya pranced around in her undies, postage stamp bikinis or tiny skirts, posing in every conceivable position. An electrically beautiful child who grew into an electrically beautiful teenager. She stopped aging at fifteen-ish, in love with her looks, understandably so. She has to dress and makeup older so she doesn’t get carded everywhere she goes.
Her mom and dad got weird, they were always greedy, started pimping her out to adults. Before it turned into actual sex, we came along quite accidentally and rescued her. After Janah mind altered her parents, we sent them to different parts of the country to wander around with no memory of Amaya or themselves. We have no idea what happened to them, we don’t care, neither does Amaya.
Where was I, drifted into back story, let’s return to the present.
While we have our regular tea, the girls do the more formal ceremony at their low table. In between thick tea and thin tea, Uma and Zofia dance, Amaya and Chloe accompany on shamisen and flute.
The dance is lively, mourning lost love isn’t on the agenda, Uma and Zofia, however, maintain their serious demeanor throughout, as is proper. They can’t resist a grin during our applause at the end, but they hide them behind elegant fans while they bow.
Amaya, “Devona did a splendid job, the girls are so meticulous about everything, it is like working with sixteenth century geeks.”
Devona clears the table, as the hostess should, carefully cleans the pots and utensils then puts them away. We don’t allow the bots to handle it, Chloe and Amaya do their own cleanup after one of their ceremonies. That’s how it’s done.
In this case, the other girls wait patiently until Devona is finished, they all go upstairs together.
Zi, “The children are one wheel with eight spokes, all turning together.”
It is so.

Thirty Nine

Janah clicks off the sat phone, “We need to send people to Waco Texas, an bad dad needs to be refocused.”
“One guy? Talk to Nikko, she hasn’t been on a trip lately.”
“Already did, she leaves tomorrow, with Sloane.”
“Zi usually accompanies, what’s up?”
“Business, Murakami Sylk is a handful, even for our diligent samurai. If Daria didn’t have an eidetic memory, it would be near impossible.”
“We need to make a change?”
“Nikko’s on it. There’s a senior manager in San Francisco, Fumiko Izumi, Nikko wants to transfer her to New York as President of Murakami Sylk Property Management. The family must approve of course. This is ceding some control over one of our major businesses to a non family member. We will discuss after tea today.”
The whole crowd is down, tea over, Nikko brings up her proposal. It’s kind of a foregone conclusion, Daria and Zi are behind it, Amaya asks a few cursory bio questions, the rest of us are content to let our business girls decide how to run the businesses.
“Fumiko has an MBA from Stanford, her undergrad degree was computer science at MIT. The world was after her, Google, Microsoft, Goldman. We got lucky and snagged her instead.”
Zi, “Nishiko is too modest. Fumiko saw opportunity in a privately held company headed by a compatriot, one from a samurai clan. She knew the name Murakami before we met. We likely couldn’t have kept her away. Our companies are harassment free, benefit rich and the salaries are superb. We don’t offer stock or stock options, the stock is all closely held. We also do not answer to Wall Street or outside shareholders. Fumiko is Japanese, she has no quarterly attitude, nor an annual one, she has the opportunity at hand and the next century in mind.”
Amaya, “Then she is Nikko Two, without the legs I suppose.”
Zi, “She modeled her way through Stanford, graduated at eighteen. Her CS degree was conferred at sixteen. Fumiko is only twenty two, twenty three next month if I recall.”
“Dang.”
Amaya, “ I was genius from birth, I can relate. How will the staff relate though, she’s young.”
Nikko, “They know her, she’s been in senior management meetings, been to New York for business. She has a friendly and non nonsense way with both clients and staff.”
Daria, “Izumi is well regarded and deserves this opportunity.”
That does it. Nikko would never suggest a lightweight for such a position, and Daria is no rubber stamp. Zi is more forgiving, but she also reads people, their aura, she is a Sensitive after all.
“And your radar Zi?”
“Izumi is what she appears to be, no duplicity, she’s not fudging anything. Come on, you think any employee, much less a key one, is going to dance their way past Nikko and Daria? They deal with New York real estate developers, there’s nothing more ruthless on this planet or any other.”
Enough discussion, I have dinner to prep, “I vote yes, and everyone go away, Dasha and I have dinner to prepare, tonight filet mignon. Cocktails in an hour.”
The vote is unanimous, which is nice, but Janah, Nikko and I own the majority of the shares equally. Once I went with yes, that automatically meant Janah voted yes, the decision could have been made without involving the others. We don’t work that way, all opinions and observations carry equal weight. We don’t vote until everyone has been heard and responded to. 
Other shareholders, Eloise, Sloane and Lauren go with whatever the decision is, as does Chloe. Oceane and Cassie have shares, but no idea of a vote or what is being voted on or why.
While Dasha and I get up to organize dinner, Janah asks, “Nikko, do you want this job in Waco. We can send the twins, or get Katya to take care of it.”
Nikko, “You don’t want him killed do you?”
“Katya’s girls know what to do, we don’t hire them for contract jobs.”
“I need to keep my hand in. I’ll go to Waco, deal with whoever, then to San Franciso to meet with Fumiko. I do need Zi and Daria here though.”
“I thought to send Sloane with you, we don’t do any work alone, Society or Shadows.”
“Sloane’s good, she can come to San Francisco with me, or maybe she wants to go to New Orleans and visit Sarah and the others.”
“No traveling alone either, she goes to San Fran with you. We’ll invite them to Canada if they can get away.”
Nikko, “When is Canada?”
“Three weeks, you need more time to get Fumiko situated?”
“No, she takes the job, she goes to work, no hand holding period. We’re a sat phone or a few clicks away if there’s something major.”
Janah, “Place to live?”
“We always keep a vacant apartment, she’ll be there at first. We’ll buy her a condo when she decides on one, or she can keep the apartment. This is a new position, not just senior, she’s the CEO of Murakami Sylk Property Management. She gets the appropriate luxury. It’s no loss for us, we own it. If she moves on, the condo isn’t hers. Senior execs get living expenses or a place in one of our buildings. I prefer them in one of our properties, easy way to keep an eye on things. It’s not a requirement, some like to live in the burbs, they have kids and need more elbow room. Our holdings outside the cities are not residential.”
We used to have a management company in Chicago, one Nikko bought from the retiring owner. It made money and she expanded some, but it meant an extra stop between New York and San Francisco, more schmoozing, more time. She sold it several years ago. I recall her saying we made around ten percent a year in after tax cash and sold it for twenty percent more than she paid. Hardly a killing, but a few million more in our pile.
“Dasha, what accompanies the steak?”
“Stuffed baked, mixed Asian vegetables wiz buhter and Okonomi sauce, marching sauce for steak.”
She means marchand du van, I like her way of saying it, so I sneak a kiss.
Amaya bartends, Emma B delivers cocktail of choice, she hands Dasha a Russian Standard fresh from the freezer in a chilled glass.
She toasts, “Bol'she vodki, men'she stradaniy.” (more vodka, less suffering…I use phonetics instead of Cyrillic so you can take a stab at pronunciation.)
The children are across the room at the low table, their cocktails are diet cranberry juice, I hear a toast in reply, “K mame!”
Amaya, “How precious, the twins have eight angels to mother.”
Uma, “My angely maminy.” (we are mama’s angels) 
She makes her hands into a halo over Zofia’s head, then the rest of the girls make a halo over the girl’s head next to them.
Chloe has tears in her eyes, I swipe away one of my own, head up the steps with Grace B’s help with the steaks. I do the girls first, I have eight ounce filets, I cut theirs in half and do them first.
Kota B comes up, “Ready Kota B, they get a stuffed potato half and a serving spoon of vegetables.”
She takes the platter, I start in our the others, done in fifteen, downstairs with them. The table is covered with the sides ready to serve, Emma B and Grace B hand out filets, platters of potatoes and vegetables passed around for self serve.
Lauren, “God, marchand du vin is to die for, I need another hunk of French bread Grace B, buttered if you please.”
“I live only to serve your worship.”
Lauren giggles, “Mom says the same thing.”
Amaya, “You bring self absorption to levels unobtainable even by daughters of Manhattan’s ultra riche, whether nouveau or vieux.”
“Said the girl who can’t take her eyes off herself in the mirror.”
“We are truly splendid, n'est-ce pas?”
“Oui, très formidable.”
Grace B, “Chiennes vont manger, ou vous complimenter toute la nuit?”
Our French speakers laugh, Grace B won’t curse around the children, thus the French.
Tasia, “Kota B, what did Grace B say?”
“Bitches going to eat, or compliment yourselves all night.”
The girls giggle.
Grace B, “I shall have a word with the Judas bot.”
Emma B, “She is programmed to respond to the children, they ask , she answers.”
Grace B turns to Daria, “This is your doing?”
“Same program for you and Emma B. A few rough words will not kill them.”
“So I am the only thing that stands between our young wards and moral degradation?”
Daria, “Pretty much it.”
“Fuck.”
Uma, “What is fuck?”
Nadia, “Trakhat'sya.”
Uma is still baffled, she turns to Zofia, “trakhat'sya?”
Zofia makes a circle with the index finger and thumb of her left hand, pokes her right index finger in and out several times.
Uma nods, “Ah, spasibo…fuck, trakhat'sya.”
Nikko has her face in her hands.
Dasha, “Children do not anyway say fuck, or trakhat'sya. You are polite girls, not gutter trash.”
A collective, “Da mama.”
“Go upstairs and find something to do, Kota B will bring ice crim dessert, you will tell her spasibo, da?”
“Da, mama.”
They shoot up the circular staircase, then to the stairs that lead to their top floor dorm. Always the same going up or coming down, the two smallest first, Devona and Karol, then Jesica and Tasia, Valeska and Nadia last.

Forty  

Nikko and Sloane fly to Waco to meet Leland Lacombe, a six three ex high school jock with a bad attitude. His wife, Annie, married him despite his penchant for taking a backhand to her on a regular basis, he even gut shot her once, she swore it was an accident. 
That she’s a druggie and he’s a meth-head makes no difference to us. If there weren’t children involved, we would leave them to their miserable selves. But, there are, three, one boy, fifteen, from an unknown dad. Two by Leland, an eight year old boy and a six year old girl. Leland thinks it’s funny when he bloodies a nose, or cracks a kid’s rib. He doesn’t bother to rationalize, no fabrications about  parental discipline, he likes it.
Unfortunately for Leland, and fortunately for the children, he rose to the Society’s attention. Nikko is going to alter his current reality.
His behavior isn’t a secret, Annie just won’t press charges, too busy looking for more oxy and giving twenty buck blow jobs to truckers to pay for it. Leland doesn’t care what she does, as long as she cleans his clock when he wants it.
His source of income is dealing, the bottom end of a chain beginning with a gang, the cookers, their distributors down to Leland. Occasionally they hire him to mangle other dealers who need more product than they can pay for, personal use counts, they still have to cough up their end. Vig on the loans runs ten percent…a day. Leland makes examples of the slow pays. For no pays, the gang sends in heavier weight and the bodies disappear into the desert.
Another thing we don’t care about is what drug gangs and dealers do to each other, too many of them and not enough of us. If the American legal system would get its head out of its ass, none of this would be a problem. But as we’ve noted before, the war on drugs is a profitable industry, nobody wants to give up their piece of your tax dollars wasted to fight an unwinnable war.
Nikko wastes neither money nor time, they land and head for the target. Leland deals out of a trailer, a pasted together piece of tin off a dirt road five miles outside town. The Society has commandeered an unmarked DEA sedan. It has the only two things she needs, the requisite red bubble light on the dash and a siren.
Nikko, “Let me out here, I’ll circle through the trees. Surveillance says he has a back door on the trailer in case he needs an escape route. Give me five minutes, then crank up the siren and floor it down the road to the trailer.”
She exits and makes her way in a circle until she’s behind the place. Five minutes on the nose and all hell breaks loose.
Sloane is screaming down the dirt track, six pickups and four motorcycles pass her headed the other way, desperate to get gone before more cops appear. The air is thick with dust, Sloane keeps moving until she’s in front of the trailer door. She drives the sedan up against it, Leland can either sit inside, or try to get out the back.
Sloane hops out and races around to the rear of the trailer. Leland is facing Nikko, his hands up, not up in surrender, as in ready to fight. Sloane pulls up and waits, Nikko doesn’t want help, Leland is occupied studying her and has no idea Sloane is off to the right behind him.
Leland, “Fuck’s this? You come in here siren and lit up, where’s the SWAT, or he backup, where’s your fucking gun, you crazy, you know who I am? Like I’m gonna just raise my hands and let you cuff me?”
“I don’t want to cuff you, I want you to show me what a tough guy you are. You beat up children, your wife, a few doped up dealers, that isn’t tough, that’s pussy. You’re a pussy Leland, and now you’re my bitch.”
Sloane’s been watching, she sees the gun stuffed into the back of his pants, he reaches behind his back.
Sloane’s on him so fast he jumps in surprise, already cranked from his own product. She swipes the automatic.
“Geez, not even a Glock, an old Colt. What kind of dealer are you, this is the new millennium, cowboy.”
Leland is having trouble processing, one second he was going to put a slug in the weird person in front of him, the next he has the ugly end of his own .45 stuck on his temple.
“This a shakedown, robbery, take the money, only five grand inside, I ain’t big time, barely small time.”
Nikko isn’t Nikko exactly, she’s got a red bandanna around her head, her face is painted geisha white, three black stripes line each cheek. Her hands are gloved, my special ones with the titanium knuckle caps. She’s wearing loose jeans, a snug rayon top that will be hard to grab, and steel toe boots. Think Death goes Goth.
“I’m here to rearrange your attitude, and take your children. In fact, they’re gone already. Your punching bag wife can hang out with you and suck cock until oxy destroys her liver, I don’t give a crap about her, or you. She, at least, isn’t violent, you are. After today, you will lie down with the lambs, and you won’t do a fucking thing to a single one.”
Leland still can’t grasp the severity of his situation, “Okay, your pal has me cold, I’m done, I can just leave the bitch, she don’t care about no kids, neither do I. Take ‘em, they’re yours, fuck ‘em.”
“Not going to be that simple Leland,” she looks at Sloane, “pop the clip and empty the chamber, we’ll hammer it to twisted metal later.”
Leland starts to argue, then he realizes she’s unarmed, her pal is unarmed and he’s bigger than both of them put together.
He charges. First mistake.
Nikko lets him get arm’s length, steps aside and rams her titanium capped knee into his gut. Leland folds and grunts hard, but he turns with a left fist coiled and ready to strike.
Nikko lets him uncoil, fat fist launched to her face, she rams the palm heel of her hand into his knuckles. Did I say it’s also titanium covered?”
The speed of Nikko’s block, and the force of his punch make for crunched bone. He grabs his wrist, the back of his injured hand faces Nikko, her snake strike backfist mutilates it. 
Leland is wired, his eyes widen, he screams and starts to charge again. What’s he up to, third or fourth mistake by now? He mistook size for strength, he used his fist, never try to punch something hard, like a head, with your fist. In this case, he didn’t even make it that far. He mistakenly assumed Nikko felt fear.
One leg raises to step, which means the other is bearing the full weight of his two hundred thirty pounds. The heel of Nikko’s boot takes out the planted knee, bone cracks, skin tears, blood drips. Leland isn’t just cooked, he’s overcooked, collapses backwards and ass smacks dirt. His mangled leg is cocked and at an abnormal angle, knee demolished. When his thigh moves, the lower leg just flops.
Nikko’s over him, swift hard steel toe to his groin. Ouch, that’s going to leave a mark, psychological and physical.
Leland makes animal noises, shock has numbed the pain, soon enough the full impact of his injuries will hit and he’ll be incapable of listening or understanding.
“Load his knee with Lidocaine, I need him coherent for a few minutes.”
Sloane pulls the syringe, jabs it right through his pant leg just above his used to be functional kneecap.
“Another in his hand, let his balls ache.”
She gives it a couple of minutes, the drug does it’s bit, Leland’s good hand hovers over his crotch, unsure whether touching will be soothing or painful. He opts to avoid contact. He also avoids meeting Nikko’s eyes, instead, he looks at Sloane, she gave him relief, maybe he’d get some help.
She bares wolf teeth and growls, snaps at his nose, stops a half inch short.
Staring at pointed incisors and molars, large and thick, Leland shrinks back, “She ain’t fucking human.”
Nikko, “And can bite clean through your throat, or your arm, or your other leg. Want to give it a go?”
Sloane has his neck in her mouth, Leland screams, “No, fuck, get her off me!”
Sloane releases, red whelps dot his neck, pinpricks of blood appear.
“Godamn, I’ll do anything, keep that thing away from me.”
Nikko, “Here’s how this works. You’re on our radar. We’re going to keep an eye on you, you will be reminded regularly. You are never to punch, kick, shoot or even look hard at any human being ever again. Nobody, ever…do you get what nobody ever means?”
“Yeah, yeah I get it, but sometimes fuckers….”
Slow learner, Sloane has him by the throat again, this time more blood and he’s choking.
Nikko, “Dipshit, there’s no but, there’s only your absolute obedience. Some guy punches you, you crawl away. Your wife gives you a mouthful of shit, you eat it. Deal all the drugs you want, but no more collections work. The Desert Dogs can find some other asshole to beat up people, it won’t be you.”
“How do you know about…”
“Leland, I know far more about you than I want to. You got the rules, control your impulses or I send her back. Next time, she rips your throat out, slowly, very, very slowly, so you can experience every exquisite moment until you bleed out.”
Leland’s jeans begin to darken, he’s piss scared and crying.
They leave him in the dirt, he’ll have to figure out how to crawl to the trailer, which he isn’t likely to accomplish before the real DEA shows up and finds him. He’ll get pasted together, then to jail, then cop a plea and do time. When he’s released, he’ll be contacted, on the Society’s leash until he’s too old to raise his hand to anyone.
I’ve followed the action in Nikko’s head. When they saddle up and drive off, I dial a number. A quarter hour later, Leland’s cuffed in an ambulance.

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